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Microb Pathog. 2013 Dec;65:63-6. doi: 10.1016/j.micpath.2013.10.001. Epub 2013 Oct 11.

Polynucleotide phosphorylase (PNPase) is required for Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium colonization in swine.

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  • 1USDA/ARS/National Animal Disease Center, Ames, IA, USA. Electronic address:


The pnp gene encodes polynucleotide phosphorylase, an exoribonuclease involved in RNA processing and degradation. A mutation in the pnp gene was previously identified by our group in a signature-tagged mutagenesis screen designed to search for Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium genes required for survival in an ex vivo swine stomach content assay. In the current study, attenuation and colonization potential of a S. Typhimurium pnp mutant in the porcine host was evaluated. Following intranasal inoculation with 10(9) cfu of either the wild-type S. Typhimurium χ4232 strain or an isogenic derivative lacking the pnp gene (n = 5/group), a significant increase (p < 0.05) in rectal temperature (fever) was observed in the pigs inoculated with wild-type S. Typhimurium compared to the pigs inoculated with the pnp mutant. Fecal shedding of the pnp mutant was significantly reduced during the 7-day study compared to the wild-type strain (p < 0.001). Tissue colonization was also significantly reduced in the pigs inoculated with the pnp mutant compared to the parental strain, including the tonsils, ileocecal lymph nodes, Peyer's Patch region of the ileum, cecum and contents of the cecum (p < 0.05). The data indicate that the pnp gene is required for S. Typhimurium virulence and gastrointestinal colonization of the natural swine host.

Published by Elsevier Ltd.


Colonization; PNPase; Polynucleotide phosphorylase; Salmonella; Swine; Virulence

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